Monday, April 28, 2014

NIE Seminar by Igal Galili

there could be 2 interesting talk that i can attend.
thanks to and for hosting!

NIE Seminar
1. Cultural Content Knowledge (CCK) of Physics and its impact on Teaching Physics
Date: 6th May2014 (Tuesday)Time: 1.30p.m to 3.00p.m
Venue: NIE7-01-708


Physics knowledge, as a subject matter of a regular curriculum, is often presented as an amalgam of topics backing in various physics theories (classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, relativity, quantum mechanics) without recognizing this fact and the different and often mutually contradicting conceptual basis of the knowledge elements. Physics knowledge emerges, thus, all inclusive, as if a homogeneous framework, despite the inherent conceptual incoherence. Moreover, physics curriculum often ignores any but unique account for a particular concept. I will argue that this content does not adequately represent physics knowledge, is often ineffective and suggests an alternative organization - a cultural one. The latter might be presented as a family of epistemologically similar fundamental theories. Each theory may be organized in a triadic structure: nucleus (basic principles), body (elements derived from the nucleus), and periphery (elements contradicting the nucleus) (Tseitlin & Galili, 2005). I will exemplify implications of this organization to physics curriculum, representation of conceptual change taking place in individual learner, as well as in scientific community, and to the new taxonomy of cognitive preferences of physics learners. The latter rejects the C.P. Snow's (1961) model of two cultures. I will also mention the learning materials – excurses to several physical concepts - created by our group in Jerusalem within the European developmental project HIPST (2008-2010).

NSSE Seminar
2. Providing Cultural Content Knowledge in a summative lecture - the first experiment with high school students
Date: 7th May 2014 (Wednesday)
Time: 1.30p.m to 3.00p.m
Venue: NIE7-03-109 (NSSE Journal Room)

Abstract. Argument for making physics curriculum cultural, that is, representing cultural content knowledge (CCK) cannot ignore the question regarding practical ways towards adoption of such curriculum. CCK curricular orientation presumes developing new learning materials and modifying teacher training (in particular, including history and philosophy of science). These activities are time consuming processes and should be considered as a gradual change. As a first step, we suggest a special kind of introductory teaching in the form of summative lecture. A special study was performed with regard to the knowledge of light – optics, intensively learned in high schools. This knowledge, arranged in three basic theories, the theory of rays (geometrical optics), the theory of waves (physical optics) and a theory of photons (modern physics) was reviewed in a special summative lecture following regular teaching. We made an experiment of such teaching - a lecture and a following class discussion - in three classes of Italian high school for students gifted in science (Lyceo Scientifico). I will depict the nature of the teaching content of such lecture and some findings in the analysis of lecture impact on the students and teachers of these classes. The results were promising and indicated several benefits of this type of pedagogy in providing students with a big picture of physics knowledge, its ontology and epistemology - the issues seldom addressed in regular teaching. This makes the summative lecture attractive regardless the change of the curriculum in general.

Information about Professor Igal Galili

Igal Galili is a professor of science education at the Amos de-Shalit Science Teaching Center in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His Ph.D. is in theoretical physics from Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University. His research interests include the structure of students’ knowledge of physics (expressed in terms of scheme-facets of knowledge), as well as the structure and nature of physics knowledge where he uses the framework of discipline-culture. He argues for representation of physics knowledge to the learners as organized in terms of fundamental theories establishing a conceptual discourse. When the subject matter includes the conceptual discourse of alternative accounts it becomes cultural in the specific sense which considers the system of knowledge as a culture. Cultural content knowledge (CCK) makes explicit the essential role of the history and philosophy of science as providing a necessary foundation for meaningful learning and understating of physics. Among his products are an introductory course of optics using CCK approach, Fundamentals of Physics and Modern Physics for school students in Israel. Several historical excurses to the conceptual history of some physical concepts were produced within the European project HIPST and published in the collection The Pleasure of Understanding.

If you are like to join us in any of these seminars, please send an email to Eugene ( with an indication of the title(s) by 30 April.